A Letter to my Childhood Friend

Dear You,

Do you remember that time I wore my mother’s perfume and you wore your father’s heart? And in too young a moment, far too hurried a night, we began to drive. Too reckless to care where we were headed, too measured to know we had to pretend otherwise. The street lights that lined these roads now wove into our lives, dancing across our faces, now fixed into the photographs that I clicked then. That I still go back to from time to time.

I remember, my feet propped at the dashboard of your car, and I could feel your eyes watch me sideways as I stared right into the side mirror. Objects are closer than they appear, it said. But you see, I was still farther away. We had waited, almost a decade. For this? You insisted it was longer.

Whatever it was, we weren’t children anymore, that was the past, the stolen and now we were too smart to ruin this. We were too smart to ruin this. Right?

But then again,

That night you chose to wear your father’s face, and I tucked the stray strands of secrets behind my ears and smiled, just like the women before me had.

We were them.

Which must mean, they were us.

They too were young once, just a little in love. Just a little too out of it. Just never enough.

And so, I didn’t really care how hurried a night it was, it looked so much like those photographs: black and white. Like our mothers and fathers and the ones who came before us, ghosts of them in the car, stacked together in patience, watching us become them. Just as my daughter one day would meet someone just as silly as you and then before you know it, they too would become us.

Look, can you see us floating now in too warped a time and space. You insist it’s love.

No, no. We are too smart to ruin this. Right?